After a deadly shooting rampage stuns Memphis, the suspect accused of live-streaming attack appears in court

But early Wednesday, Tunstall was shot dead on his way to Cash’s home—becoming the first victim in a violent shooting spree that gripped the city of Memphis until the suspect was arrested later that night. .
The body of Eliza Fletcher, a Memphis teacher who was kidnapped and murdered last Friday, was found just days after a shooting rampage. Deadly attacks across the city over the past week have sparked anger and fear among city leaders, who say the violence is unacceptable.

Shooting suspect Ezekiel Kelly, 19, made his first appearance in the Shelby County Courtroom on Friday on charges of first-degree murder.

Kelly has been charged with the murder of Tunstall, the first victim on a shooting spree. Officials say Tunstall was killed in a 1 a.m. gunfight, triggering several other shootouts across the city, killing three more people and injuring three others.

Kelly, who was escorted to the courtroom by deputies, was handcuffed and wore Navy prison clothes and a black mask. He spoke briefly to address the judge’s questions and did not enter a plea.

Judge Karen L. Macy hired a public defender to represent Kelly.

She set Kelly’s next motion hearing for September 13. He is being held in the Shelby County Jail without a surety, records show.

Police say additional charges are expected.

The citywide search for Kelly, also known as “Zeek Huncho”, prompted a shelter-in-place order for part of the city and a temporary suspension of bus and trolley services in the area.

Officers responded to the shooting at 4:38 p.m. on the first and found a man in his car with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. Minutes later, police said they found a woman at a different location who had been shot in the leg.

According to Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, Kelly was reportedly streaming on Facebook Live when he opened fire inside a store more than an hour later. When officers reached the spot, they had shot a man and he was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Members of the Memphis community gather at an auto zone parking lot on Thursday.

According to police, officers then responded at three more places, where they found a man and two women who were shot. Davis said the man was brought to the hospital in a non-serious condition, but both women died. He said the gunman allegedly stole a woman’s SUV.

After learning that Kelly killed a man at gunpoint and drove into the victim’s Dodge Challenger, the car was spotted on I-55 within minutes, police said. Davis said that after a high-speech car chase, Kelly was arrested and two weapons were visible in the car.

While the motive in the attacks is still unclear, the city of Memphis must now recover from the violent violence unleashed upon many of its community members.

Tunstall’s friends remember him as a young father who had ambitious dreams and a generous spirit.

“He was so cute. He wanted to move out of here. He wanted to make it. He wanted to make it into his music. He inspired all his friends to do better,” Tunstall’s friend Princess Onwubiko told CNN Told WHBQ.

Mayor denies early release of suspect from jail

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland shared his “deepest sympathy” for the victims and their love and condemned the violent attacks a statement on Wednesday night, arguing that he could have been stopped if not for the hole in the criminal justice system.

Strickland said, “I’m angry for them, and I’m angry for our citizens, who had to take shelter for their safety until this suspect is caught. This is not a way for us to live and it is not acceptable.” Is.”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland speaks during a press conference early Thursday.

Kelly was released from prison in March after serving a three-year sentence of 11 months for aggravated assault. He initially faced more serious charges in a 2020 case in Shelby County, including attempted murder, reckless endangerment, and using a firearm with intent to commit a dangerous felony, court records show, but He pleaded guilty only to the charge of less aggravated assault.

Strickland said, “If Mr. Kelly served his full three-year sentence, he would still be in prison today and four of our fellow citizens would still be alive.”

In his statement, the mayor urged that “these evil actions show why there is a need for truth in sentencing,” referring to a new law in Tennessee that allows people convicted of certain violent crimes to serve their full prison sentences. will need to do.

CNN has reached out to Shelby County Public Defender for comment.

CNN’s Jamil Lynch, Jennifer Henderson and Nooran Salahih contributed to this report.

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